Ciao Bella & Authenticity Run One-Two in Rampart for Pletcher

Ciao Bella & Authenticity Run One-Two in Rampart for Pletcher


Ciao BellaTrainer Todd Pletcher and owner-breeder Michael Tabor discussed the merits of running 4-year-old filly Ciao Bella in Saturday’s $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park or ship her north to run in the $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (G2) next Saturday at Aqueduct.

They decided to keep the roan/gray daughter of Giant’s Causeway racing over a track surface that she was two-for-two. The decision looked good as jockey John Velazquez let her roll to the front early in the 1 1/8 miles test while setting an easy pace with a half-mile in 49 1/5 before coasting to the wire 4 ½ lengths in front as the 2-to-5 favorite.

Padua Stable’s 6-year-old mare Authenticity, also trained by Pletcher, rallied to finish a clear second in the field of six fillies and mares, 11 ½ lengths ahead of Live Oak Plantation’s 6-year-old Successful Song in third. Ciao Bella paid $2.80 for $2 to win and was timed in 1:50:16 over the ‘fast’ track.

“It’s a good start to the day (won Sir Shackleton Stakes in 2nd race with Travelin Man),” said Pletcher. “We were also looking at a race at Aqueduct for Ciao Bella (Ruffian Handicap next Saturday). It was a tough call. I talked it over with Mr. (Michael) Tabor and decided to keep her here. She was two-for-two over the main track.

“With the slow fraction (half-mile in 49 1/5) Johnny (Velazquez) was able to dictate the race. The other mare (Authenticity) ran a good race to be second after getting bottled up behind the slow pace. I haven’t got any specific plans for them right now.”

“We knew there wasn’t a lot of speed in there except for Successful Song,” said Velazquez. “It seemed like she (Successful Song) didn’t want to be on the lead, so it was pretty easy.”